U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen

From Staff Reports

WASHINGTON, DC — Employers of law enforcement officers would be liable for civil rights violations by their employees if legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen becomes law.

“Too often cities and police departments look away from officer misconduct,” the Memphis Democrat said as police immunity laws have been recognized as a shield against misconduct.

His bill would give local governments an incentive to: properly train their officers; enforce agency policies; and create new systems to prevent misconduct and protect citizens’ rights, Cohen said Monday.

“We have long held private employers vicariously liable for their employees’ tortious conduct, and law enforcement employers should be held to the same standard when their officers deprive individuals of their constitutional rights,” Cohen said.

Cohen chairs the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He’s the chief sponsor of the Civil Rights Enhancement and Law Enforcement Accountability Improvement Act.